If you want less stressful mornings and some practical tips for organising life, the Savings Room is here to help.
When I think of stress I think of rushed morning showers, quickly devoured toast for breakfast, lost school jackets, last-minute newsletters and notes, slapped together lunches and bags straddling off little arms.
Then there is the hunt for raincoats on the way out the door and the realisation that once in the car, there is no time to make up a coffee in a portable mug. If you are a busy parent or person on the run, I’m guessing you may have experienced a morning like this. Of course, I have.
This used to be a typical morning for me before I embarked on a massive journey to make my life, and those of my readers, more streamlined and stress-free.
Life is fast paced enough and full of pressures already. So why not make the day an easier one by adopting some simple organisation techniques and some simple saving tips for saving the day!
Sanity saving tips | Stay ahead of the game
1. Stay ahead of the game with a great organiser like the Cozi family calendar. Cozi is a great online planner and app for busy parents on the run. You can add family members, write messages to each other, write grocery lists and stay on top of events, childcare and after school care, who is picking who up, kids parties, parents’ events and more. You can also keep a journal of important events as they happen and email them to loved ones. I signed up for the pro version of Cozi, configured the calendar for Australia and downloaded the app for myself and for my hubby’s phone. Now we can save on all those little phone calls during the day by posting messages to each other. Though Aussies can’t use the SMS feature we are still able to use the email function. Since I check emails on my phone anyway this works for me.
Dinner | Get organised with groceries and enjoy bulk cooking
2. Get organised with groceries. Set a regular time each week to buy groceries online. For example, try buying groceries on Tuesday nights while watching TV. If you have an Ipad or Iphone this job is easy! Try my menu planning systems (like my Freezer Meals), which deliver budget healthy dinners at minimal cost. You can save money on groceries because each grocery list is roughly the same each week. With inflation each grocery list is about $120 per week. No grocery list in the book will go over that. I also recommend ordering groceries earlier in the week so you can book delivery times and then sort by price to cut your grocery bill further.
3. Bulk cook for the week ahead on a Sunday afternoon. This has become a tradition for me and I enjoy it with a nice glass of red and some music as the afternoon progresses. Cook up a stew in the slow cooker, cook some oven-baked dinners like lasagna and a roast and cook up a meat sauce and a creamy white wine sauce to throw pasta together during your busy week. Alternatively, use Table Tucker, which allows for three bulk cooking recipes each week.
Go to bed early | Become an early bird
4. Go to bed earlier this week and then wake earlier. Spend mornings, when you are fresh, to stay ahead of family paperwork. Designate one morning each week, say Wednesday morning, to pay bills, write up any forms for the kids and send any pressing emails. Set phone reminders and calendar important events into your phone. Also enjoy the quiet of the morning to have some you time. Enjoy a peaceful coffee before others in the house wake up and get a good run on the day. If you have time throw on a few loads of laundry and hang them out before leaving. If you need a morning checklist you might find this one useful: Weekly Chores Checklist.
Save money | Keep your finances in check
5. Get organised with finances. I recommend a fantastic new product for the Australian market called Pocketbook. It integrates with major Aussie banks and is excellent for getting the bottom-line of your finances weekly. Pocketbook also sends you a Sunday round-up of what happened this week with your finances in terms of ‘in the green’ and ‘in the red.’ Pocketbook is a great way to track all things finance and I am loving it.
Have fun | Plan something to look forward to
6. Make sure you plan fun activities into your calendar. All parents need something to look forward to! An ambulance driver in Kalgoorlie once told me that all parents should take time out alone. They should also spend time together as a couple, time alone with each child and then also spend time together as a family. He told me each is equally important for achieving optimal life balance. Looking back this was very good advice. Now that my second child is almost three I totally agree! It’s never too late to find optimal balance I say!
If you want to avoid that knot in your stomach when waking on a weekday morning, these sanity saving tips are a great start! Note: I wasn’t paid for the plugs in this post. I just really like Cozi and Pocketbook and they get my vote! More great product reviews to come!